Lung Cancer Causes

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Lung cancer causes can be determined owing to the fact that a few important factors are manmade. Some factors may be outside the control of man; even so, it is best to get acquainted with the factors as prevention is considered better than cure.

Lung Cancer

In the human body, when cells are created, they mature, they divide and they die. However, when cancer affects the human body, these cancerous cells do mature, they do divide too, however, they do not die. Even if the numbers and types of cancers are large, the start of any cancer remains to be this uncontrolled growth of mutated human cells.

Lung cancer, as the name suggests, is the cancer that affects the lungs. This cancer is majorly found in two types. These two types are small cell lung cancer and non small cell lung cancer. The most common type of lung cancer is non - small cell lung cancer. It makes up about 90% of cases of lung cancers. As for small cell lung cancer, as the name suggests, it is called so due to the small cells which are responsible for the occurrence of this cancer. This makes for a lesser percentage of cases of lung cancer varying from 10 - 15 %.

Lung Cancer Causes

Even if the two types of lung cancers are different, the causes more or less remain the same. The common causes of this disease are:


Among the list of causes of lung cancer, smoking of tobacco tops the list. It contributes to 9 out of 10 incidences of lung cancer. This also depends on the number of cigarette packs the person smokes and upon the term that he has been smoking. The longer the term, the higher is the risk. This being said, along with smoking of cigarettes, smoking of cigars and smoking through a pipe equally contribute to the risk of lung cancer in a patient. More importantly, non smokers who inhale second hand smoke and side stream smoke have a high risk of developing lung cancer. If you are a non smoker and you live with an active smoker, request them to not smoke around you. It is very harmful for you.


Radon comes second on the list for being another cause of lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas which is odorless, colorless and tasteless. When radioactive substances begin to decay, for instance Uranium, radon is released. These substances are found in the soil and in some parts of the United States, it is found in high quantities. Even if smoking tobacco stands at providing a much risk factor, radon proves to be much more harmful in active smokers as compared to passive smokers.


Asbestos is a fibrous mineral found occurring naturally. This mineral is exploited by industries due the fiber that occurs in it. Asbestos is put to use greatly in the United States and Canada as well. The usage of this mineral began on a wide scale since the Second World War. This material is used in insulation, roofing, etc. It is very harmful to inhale the fiber crystals of this mineral.


Even though, arsenic was one of the first known "drugs" used for the treatment of cancer (leukemia), it proved to be dangerous and carcinogenic arsenic has been found in ground water in different countries in the world. Consumption of water contaminated with arsenic sums up to be a high risk for lung cancer. This risk too is higher for active smokers.

Air Pollution

Air pollution also accounts to be a factor responsible for lung cancer. Yet, this does not account to be as harmful and threatening as smoking cigarettes is. Air pollution found on roads with a lot of traffic may account to only 5% of lung cancer cases.

Other than these, there are other factors which can lead to lung cancer such as exposure to radiation, a family history of these diseases, etc. Another harmful exposure is the exposure to benzene. This is a chemical present in a variety of things such as gasoline, petroleum, coal and cigarette. Try to avoid exposure to this chemical as much as possible. Still, from the above lung cancer causes, tobacco definitely ranks at the top most position. If you want to stay safe and away from lung cancer, avoid tobacco smoke. If you are an active smoker, you can quit. The good news is that now is the best time. Your lungs will start healing themselves from as early as 20 minutes. Quit smoking and lead a healthier life!

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